Viewpoint: Disagreement with aspects of Blackfoot-Clearwater act
Senator Tester recently said: “The truth is these landscapes are disappearing and they’re disappearing really quickly.” But his BCSA (Blackfoot Clearwater Stumps Act) will make them disappear even faster.
Tester’s bill mandates an unlimited number of logging projects up to 3,000 acres each throughout the Seeley Lake Ranger District, including 49,000 acres of roadless lands currently protected by the Clinton Roadless Rule.
Tester's bill "categorically excludes" the logging from public review, comment, and objection. Montanans overwhelmingly rejected the Forest Service's attempt to likewise exclude public review of the POWDR deal at Holland Lake Lodge.
When lynx were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1999, there were 700 to 1,050 lynx in Montana. Now there are only about 300 left. The roadless areas Tester wants bulldozed and clearcut in the Blackfoot-Clearwater are Federally-designated Critical Habitat for lynx and bull trout, the last refuges for these endangered species.
Tester says we have to compromise. But logging 49,000 acres of wilderness quality roadless lands is a giveaway, not a compromise.
Montanans saved Holland Lake and they can save the Blackfoot-Clearwater. The timber industry already has access to all roaded lands. Don’t let Tester give them categorical exclusions to log roadless lands too.
Mike Garrity is the Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.